Maria Sakkari secures WTA Finals spot for second year running

Image copyright EPA Image caption Sakkari qualified for the last WTA Finals for the second time in three years Maria Sakkari has qualified for the year-ending WTA Finals for the second time in three…

Maria Sakkari secures WTA Finals spot for second year running

Image copyright EPA Image caption Sakkari qualified for the last WTA Finals for the second time in three years

Maria Sakkari has qualified for the year-ending WTA Finals for the second time in three years.

The 22-year-old did not make the cut at the US Open, but the Dane, ranked 67th, won on Sunday to secure top spot in the Race to Singapore, the Swiss Open in Berne’s group.

Sakkari posted the only 6-0 win of the event on Sunday after going one set down to Aryna Sabalenka.

“I don’t even know what to say. I’m speechless,” she said on the website of the WTA Tour.

Sakkari added: “I had a great week in Berne. It was the best week of my career, and I’m so happy I got to enjoy this feeling.”

For the first time in 15 years, three of the 12 women from the eight-team Finals will play for $1m (£715,000) in prize money.

In addition to Sakkari, world number one Simona Halep and second-ranked Karolina Pliskova have already made it to Singapore – along with Spain’s Garbine Muguruza, Belgium’s Elise Mertens, Japan’s Naomi Osaka, Australia’s Daria Gavrilova and the United States’ Sloane Stephens.

Australian Open champion Halep, Pliskova and Osaka are ranked in the top three in the world, so will be playing together in the Nov 5-14 competition.

Stephens, who is ranked 11th in the world, is the only other player from the world’s top 10 left in the competition.

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